07 October 2019
Buying your first or a new car can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you have no idea what you need to be looking out for! Common measures of quality like engine sizes and safety ratings can be very confusing for novice and experienced drivers alike, and that’s without considering all the other factors.
Hopefully in this blog post we can help to alleviate any concerns you have and help you to pick the right car for you! If you already own a car and it has broken down or is showing signs of giving up the ghost, don’t despair! Our emergency loans may help you get your vehicle back on the road in no time.
1. Set a Budget
There are thousands of cars out there for sale, and the variety in choice can be quite overwhelming. By setting yourself a clear budget to adhere to, you can narrow down this list of thousands of cars to a much more manageable list to look through. There’s no point setting your heart on a car that is well outside your reach after all!
To work out your budget for your first car, you need to calculate your basic cost of living, which will include things like your rent or mortgage, food shopping, bills and any other social spending allowances you can think of. Then, whatever’s left is what you can spend on the car and its accompanying maintenance costs; such as petrol, insurance and general upkeep. This figure will be the budget you have for your first car, and you should find that it narrows down the list quite significantly.
2. What do you need from your car?
Obviously, it needs four wheels and an engine! But you ought to consider what specifically you need out of your next car. What sort of mileage are you expecting to do each month and year? Will you regularly need room for extra passengers and cargo? These are the types of questions your first car will need to answer if you want to buy the right car for you.
3. Consider Buying Pre-owned
A good way to stretch your budget a bit if needed is to shop for used cars, rather than brand new ones. On average, from the moment you buy a brand-new car it is already heavily losing its value, and the car will continue to have a depreciating value every year until, when the time comes to sell it on and buy a new one, your car will be worth just a fraction of what you originally paid for it. When buying a used car, you’re paying for a car that has already gone through this obligatory depreciation, which means you’ll avoid paying a potentially inflated price for your first car.
4. Sort out your Insurance
One of the major factors of your car running costs will be the insurance and road-tax. In order to keep both of these costs to a minimum it’s always advisable to go for a car that isn’t hugely powerful. The insurance for these more powerful cars, especially if you have recently passed your test and are maybe under the age of 25, will likely be very expensive. We would always recommend looking for a car that is in the lower-band insurance groups, as these cars will have lower road tax costs (or maybe none at all) and will be far less punishing on your budget!
5. Do your Research
Once you’ve sorted out your budget and decided what type of car you’re looking to buy, one of the most important factors of the car buyer journey is to do as much additional research as you can. If (you think) you’ve found the ideal type of car for you, consider doing a bit of wider research online to see what other people think of it and what their experiences as users have been.
Use tools like online reviews and auto repair forums. If you can, you could also find other owners near you to hear what they think of the car first hand; like which parts of the car tend to break first, and how the car drives generally. But the most important method of research you can undertake is the test drive; which is the only way you can truly test the cars capabilities and get a proper feel for what it will be like to drive the car full time. Taking the time to take a test drive could save you a lot of money and regret, so make sure not to pass up the opportunity.
If you’re thinking of getting a car on finance, make sure to get appropriate car finance advice via resources such as Money Advice Service. This isn’t a decision to be made lightly, and above all just be sure that you are buying a car which fits within your budget!